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Paz Errázuriz / MATRIX 251 (January 17—March 30, 2014)
FIRST SOLO EXHIBITION IN A U.S. MUSEUM BY RENOWNED CHILEAN PHOTOGRAPHER PAZ ERRÁZURIZ SHOWCASES TWO IMPORTANT BODIES OF WORK, LA MANZANA DE ADÁN (ADAM’S APPLE) AND BOXEADORES (BOXERS)
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Berkeley, CA, December 9, 2013 — Paz Errázuriz / MATRIX 251 is the first solo museum exhibition in the United States by the Chilean photographer. Errázuriz, who has been living and working in Santiago since the 1960s, is renowned for her honest portrayals of people living on the fringes of society. This MATRIX presentation showcases selections from two series of works: La manzana de Adán (Adam’s Apple) and Boxeadores (Boxers), both of which were produced during the brutal military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, which lasted from 1973 to 1990.
The self-taught photographer began taking pictures in the 1970s to document what was transpiring around her and to combat the censorship imposed on the everyday lives of Chileans. Errázuriz’s portraits, typically black-and-white (although she also works in color), take the form of visual documentary essays. Organized around specific social groups that have been relegated to the invisible margins of Chilean culture, her work aims to visually reintegrate them into a society that has rejected them.
From 1982 to 1988, Errázuriz documented the daily lives of a dozen male transvestites who worked in various brothels in the cities of Santiago and Talca. Enshrouded in silence and having suffered in a secret, violent world, the men welcomed Errázuriz’s camera, and wanted their stories to be told. The resulting series La manzana de Adán (1982–87), presented as part of this MATRIX presentation, was originally exhibited just before the Pinochet regime toppled in 1990, and shortly thereafter an accompanying book was published in collaboration with journalist Claudia Donoso. The photographs portray a moving and valuable record of the men’s experiences inside the gritty interiors of the brothels where they lived and worked. Only occasionally do we get a glimpse of them unadorned, outside the brothels; this typically occurred when they were on the move between Talca and Santiago, as staying in one place for too long was dangerous.
In Boxeadores (1987), Errázuriz turns her camera to a different group of men: boxers who fought in neighborhood gymnasiums. Her poignant portraits of young men, all uniformly shot isolated against a wall, dressed in their workout gear, expose a masculinity defined by sport, but also rooted in a particular community and social space. These elegant and honest depictions present a group of men whose lives possessed little opportunity for economic mobility. Both series display Errázuriz’s authentic and deeply human approach to portraying those on the margins, men who could be considered more antiheroes than heroes.
MATRIX 250 is organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator. The MATRIX Program is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees. Additional funding is provided by The Jay DeFeo Trust.
About the Artist
Paz Errázuriz was born in Santiago, Chile in 1944, where she continues to live and work. She studied at the Cambridge Institute of Education in England in 1966, and received her degree from the Catholic University of Chile in 1972. Although primarily self-taught, in 1993 she attended the International Center of Photography in New York. She began her photographic work in the early 1980s, working for the magazine Apsi and for various foreign news agencies, in addition to collaborating with the Vicariate of Solidarity. In 1981, she was a cofounder of the Association of Independent Photographers (AFI) in Santiago.
Errázuriz has exhibited widely over the trajectory of her career, now in its fourth decade. Some of her selected solo exhibitions include La luz que me ciega (The Light That Blinds Me) at Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (MAC), Santiago (2010); Paz Errázuriz, Fotografías Chile 1981–2002 at Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires (2006); Los nómadas de mar (Nomads of the Sea) at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago (1996); Photographs by Paz Errázuriz at The Photography Gallery, Toronto (1992); and La manzana de Adán (Adam’s Apple), The Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney (1989). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Chile and abroad, including Del Otro Lado (From the Other Side), Centro Cultural La Moneda, Santiago (2006); The Gaze: Looking at Photography in Latin America Today, Daros Foundation, Zurich (2003); the 1995 and 1986 Havana Biennials, La Havana; Recovering Histories: Aspects of Contemporary Art in Chile Since 1982, The Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ (1993); Desires and Disguises: Five Latin American Photographers, The Photographers’ Gallery, London (1992); and Images of Silence, Museum of Modern Latin American Art, Organization of the American States, Washington, D.C. (1989).
The MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art introduces the Bay Area community to exceptional work being made internationally, nationally, and locally, creating a rich connection to the current dialogues on contemporary art and demonstrating that the art of this moment is vital, dynamic, and often challenging. Confronting traditional practices of display and encouraging new, open modes of analysis, MATRIX provides an experimental framework for an active interchange between the artist, the museum, and the viewer. Since the program's inception in 1978, MATRIX has featured artists such as John Baldessari, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, Shirin Neshat, Nancy Spero, and Andy Warhol. In recent years MATRIX has embraced a greater international scope, with the roster including Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Peter Doig, Omer Fast, Tobias Rehberger, Ernesto Neto, Rosalind Nashashibi, Tomás Saraceno, Mario Garcia Torres, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, representing countries as diverse as Finland, Germany, Iran, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, and many others.
Founded in 1963, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is UC Berkeley’s primary visual arts venue and among the largest university art museums in terms of size and audience in the United States. Internationally recognized for its art and film programming, BAM/PFA is a platform for cultural experiences that transform individuals, engage communities, and advance the local, national and global discourse on art and ideas. BAM/PFA’s mission is “to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.”
BAM/PFA presents approximately fifteen art exhibitions and 380 film programs each year. The museum’s collection of over 19,000 works of art includes important holdings of Neolithic Chinese ceramics, Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese painting, Old Master works on paper, Italian Baroque painting, early American painting, Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, and video art. Its film archive of over 16,000 films and videos includes the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan, Hollywood classics, and silent film, as well hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film, many of which are digitally scanned and accessible online.
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